3 Days in Chicago: Ghosts, Friends and a Jacket Dilemma
Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories and words of encouragement with me Sunday and yesterday.
On Sunday night I barely slept because my right butt cheek was pulsing really deeply and I could feel it radiate down my leg almost to my knee. The groin pain has also come back in spurts. I feel even more sure now that I made the right decision to pull out of the marathon at mile nine. I probably should have stopped even sooner but I needed time to come to terms with what I knew I had to do. I have an appointment scheduled with my PT for Thursday… but I’m hoping I’ll be able to get in sooner if an opening comes up.
From everything I’ve learned about Piriformis Syndrome the only thing I can really do is rest, stretch, get massages and make some changes to my sleeping and sitting form. I’ve been doing the set of stretches my PT gave me last week and I’m hoping they start to work soon. I think it can take up to 6 weeks for PS to really go away, but sometimes it goes away in just a few days… fingers crossed.
Even though the Chicago Marathon didn’t go the way I imagined it would I still had a great weekend leading up to the DNF. The city is absolutely beautiful and Adam and I are already looking forward to heading back next October.
We stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel which is on Michigan Ave directly across from Grant Park and the marathon starting corrals. The location really could not be any more perfect but the hotel itself is incredibly outdated and in need of renovations (which are supposedly underway). When we walked off the elevator onto our hotel room floor for the first time I immediately said to Adam, “this hotel has got to be haunted right?”
The hallways are dark, dingy and falling apart. I’m sure the hotel was in it’s prime …back in the 1800s! On the way to the airport yesterday morning I looked up reviews of The Congress and found out it’s supposedly the most haunted building in all of Chicago! I’m not 100% sure I believe in ghosts, but this place definitely gave me the creeps. I’ll call it an interesting experience this time, but I won’t be staying there again next October :).
I wasn’t supposed to be doing much walking before the race, so Adam and I just strolled a few blocks down Michigan on Friday night to find some food. We enjoyed some delicious Chicago dogs, which are incredibly salty but also incredibly good!
The city was beautifully lit up at night and there was interesting art everywhere.
This was one of the coolest things I saw all weekend – that’s real water spurting out of her mouth!
On Saturday Adam and I went to a delicious restaurant called Yolk for breakfast. There was quite a long wait to get in but it was well worth it! I’ll be dreaming of the five egg omelets from Yolk until I get to return again next year!
After a hearty breakfast we took an Uber over to the Chicago Marathon expo. There was a free shuttle bus from the Hilton to the McCormick Center where the expo was held but the wait to get on the shuttle bus was extremely long. It only cost us $8 in the Uber and our driver knew a back way into the center so we got there really quickly. We heard it took other people about 30+ minutes to get through the traffic on Saturday.
The expo building is so large that it actually didn’t feel very crowded. The crew has everything down to a science and aside from the merch checkout line I never had to wait for anything.
I bought the Chi 2015 jacket which I am now seriously conflicted about.
It cost $100 which means I really want to wear it because that’s a lot of money that I don’t want to throw down the drain. On the other hand, I don’t know if I’ve earned the right to wear the jacket. I am rationalizing that I put in hundreds of miles training for the Chicago Marathon and that alone gives me the right to wear it. I didn’t drop out of the race because I was undertrained, I DNF’d because I got an injury flare up at the very end of my training cycle… plus just the sight of it gives me so much inspiration for next year’s race!
Sunday morning I had a 4am wake up call, ate some breakfast, read some of my favorite blogger’s race recaps for motivation, put on my Team Paws gear and then met up with Jenny to hang out before the race started since we were both in Wave 2.
It was fun to chat about our training cycles, upcoming races (we’ll get to hang out again when she comes down for the Miami Half in Jan) and mutual friends aka our favorite run bloggers!
Jenny is the third person I’ve met through the run blog world in real life (Jodi and Ali were the first two). It’s the best when your online friends become real friends! I had hoped to meet a couple of other people this weekend but there will be other races and other opportunities!
(To those of you, like me, who had to drop, there is always next year. When we cross the finish line in 2016 it will have an extra special meaning.)
While my race day didn’t go quite as expected I am super excited to go back and run Chicago again next year. The first nine miles of the course that I got to see were spectacular – each part of town so different from the next – and the crowd support was second to none!
I can’t wait to do it again … and to see the second half of the course!
Are you thinking about running Chicago in 2016?
What’s the biggest/best race you’ve ever been a part of?